The need for a place for prayer, reflection and renewal in St. Augustine and surrounding areas has now become a reality with the launch of Villa Flora-Brown Hall Renewal Center. “After studying the needs of the surrounding areas of St. Augustine, we found that there was a great desire to deepen one’s spirituality,” stated Sister Jane Stoecker, SSJ, General Superior, “Villa Flora-Brown Hall by virtue of its location and layout is perfect to fulfill this desire and is now available for days of recollection and group or private retreats.”
The mission of the Renewal Center is to extend an invitation to dwell in the house of the Lord through prayer, reflection and renewal in order to deepen a lived Catholic spirituality in daily life.
Located in Old Town of the nation’s oldest city across from the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse are the buildings of Villa Flora and Brown Hall. Villa Flora and Brown Hall are more than mere buildings and property; they hold a special place in the history of St. Augustine as well as the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Villa Flora, built in 1898, provides a beautiful parlor space for intimate gatherings. The room features high ceilings, crown molding, inlaid wood floors, two fireplaces and unique stained glass windows. The design of Brown Hall is perfect for weekend or day retreats. Groups or individuals can stay in one of the ten bedrooms and use the conference room for their gathering.
The Sisters are available to serve as facilitators or groups may provide their own facilitator and only pay for rooms and meals. Day rates are available. Spiritual direction is also available at the Renewal Center by appointment.
In addition to offering this space for rental, the Sisters have planned several presentations and workshops open to anyone seeking to draw closer to God. Programs vary from book studies to using the arts to recognize God’s beauty. For more information on the programs, visit our website at http://sistersofstjoseph.vpweb.com/or call 904-824-1752.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine, reach “The Dear Neighbor” in many diverse ministries throughout the state of Florida. In 1866 the Sisters were brought to St. Augustine to teach the children of recently freed slaves. Education and healthcare have been important ministries for the Sisters. The Sisters are involved in all levels of education including elementary and high schools, adult education, art education, literacy, and special education. The Sisters are also involved in healthcare, mental health services and social services. Their pastoral and spiritual ministries place the Sisters in parish settings, pastoral care, chaplaincy, spiritual direction and retreat work. The Sisters serve in leadership roles throughout the dioceses of Florida and within their own congregation. The Sisters reach to France with a Sister who is currently ministering at the Centre International St. Joseph. The Sisters never know where God is going to call them, but remain open to new opportunities. They continue to embrace the charism, the mission and values of their founding Sisters, by advocating union of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.